Ficklish Blog

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Festival of jLo 2008

I’m having causation vs. correlation issues again: we put our clocks forward this morning, and nature responded swiftly by giving us a sunny, warm, absolutely-no-doubt-about-it beautiful spring day. I wore sunglasses! And summer shoes! With no socks or tights or other foot-warming accessories that were essential until today. This time last week, it was snowing on our balcony. Tonight we had the first barbecue of the season at the Loft, and sat in the fading sunlight with fruity cocktails, toasting the advent of spring.

It feels like a new beginning kind of time – the Festival of jLo concluded last weekend, and the time has come for regular life to resume. I highly recommend the international festival approach to birthday celebrations. Two countries, six towns, visits and parties and pub sessions and and road trips – it was freaking brilliant. I’m exhausted, but very happy.

Those first few days that I gushed about in my last post set the tone for the remainder of my holiday in Oz. The weather was perfect every single day. The coffee continued to be uniformly excellent (such that it seems that I won't ever be able to shut up about it). I caught up with my family in Brisbane and my lovely wee brothers threw me an excellent birthday party in their amazing flat overlooking the river and the Story Bridge. The family wedding we attended the following weekend was very eventful (I’ll tell that story next) but ultimately a blast. Sydney was great fun, too – I swam in the ocean at Bondi numerous times and had a fantastic road trip to Our Nation’s Capital to hang out with the good folks who live there. Singing with J,The at the top of our lungs as we drove along the highway felt utterly perfect.

Sunshine and good times and lovely, lovely friends – the trip was just what I wanted. It was really hard to wrench myself away and leave all over again.

But then the Londoners did their part, reminding me what a fabulous life I have here with such excellent folks. We had a Pickle party that exceeded all expectations, and then for the Easter weekend a bunch of us bundled into a van and drove our way across the country to a charming wee cottage in a town on the Devon coast called – get this – Westward Ho! [The exclamation mark is officially part of the name of the town, and (as you would expect) is the primary reason we chose that particular destination.] It was just as delightful as I had hoped. We had fish and chips and Devonshire tea and drank local ale and rambled around the countryside looking at sheep. It was tops and I’ll be sure to post some pictures soon.

So, more than a month after it began, the Festival of jLo 2008 came to a close. I feel pretty damn good about being 30, and the Festival helped me see exactly why: I’m very, very lucky to be healthy and happy and to have a whole world full of remarkable friends. Life is good.

[Also: at my party in Brisbane, 21-year-old cousin of mine told me I was ‘glamorous’, which pleased me greatly – I have been waiting for quite some time to be in a position to be able to hoodwink people so effectively. ]

Thank you to all of you for making the Festival such an amazing time. Thank you also for your astounding (and humbling) birthday generosity. You rock my world.